Guide to Buying a House

Once you have made an offer to buy a house which has been accepted:

  • Contact Red Kite Law to give us the details
  • Tell the seller’s Estate Agent that we are acting for you and give them our contact details

We will send you our Terms and Conditions of Business together with our Purchase Questionnaire and ask you to sign and return them to us.

We will ask you to produce proof of identity, as required by current money laundering laws.

If you need a mortgage, we advise you see an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) as soon as possible. They will have access to all available mortgages and can advise on what product is best for you. If you would like the names of some local IFA’s please ask.

We will ask the seller’s solicitors any questions we need to raise about the property, carry out searches with the local authority and other agencies (this can take approximately 4 weeks in some cases),. check the searches when the come back to us and the terms of your mortgage offer (if applicable).

When these checks are complete, we will report to you and if you are happy we will arrange for you to sign the contract and mortgage deed and will ask you to provide the agreed deposit needed at exchange. We will also prepare the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return for you to sign.

Exchanging Contracts

We will maintain close contact with you to arrange times to exchange and complete that suit you and all the other parties involved (through a chain if there is one).

When contracts are exchanged, you and your seller become legally committed to the transaction and a date will be set for the legal completion to take place.

If you are taking a mortgage we will not normally exchange contracts before the formal mortgage offer is received.

It is important to remember that the day that the legal completion takes place is the day that you will actually move house.

Contracts are usually exchanged over the phone between the two parties' Lawyers then the signed contracts are sent by post.

Legal Completion

Before the completion date we will approve the transfer deed – the document by which legal ownership is transferred from seller to buyer – and we will ask you to sign it in readiness for completion.

We will arrange for your mortgage funds to be paid to us before completion, but you must ensure that we are in receipt of cleared funds for any additional amount needed to complete before the completion date.

We will send you a completion statement showing the amounts needed shortly after exchange.

On completion we will receive your mortgage advance from your lender (if any) and pay the purchase money to the sellers and they will hand over the title deeds. We will also pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax that is due and then register your purchase with the Land Registry.

Once the transaction has completed, you need to liaise with the sellers or estate agent to collect the keys for your new property.

We will then carry out any further searches required by your lender.